Walk through the streets of downtown Panama City, Colon, or one of Panama’s other large towns or cities and you could be forgiven for failing to distinguish between the fashions on offer here compared with any other major western city. As a country which has imbibed influences from across the world, Panamanian fashion can, at its best, be as sophisticated as anywhere else in the world but you’ll also find the usual crop of jeans and t-shirts, suits and skirts which are commonplace across the developed world.
Panama’s climate is tropical. That means hot and humid with little variation through the day. Because of its position just north of the Equator, seasonal variation is slight too and this necessarily is a key influence on local fashion. Nonetheless, for local women, long flowing hair has always been a traditional look in this part of Central America and, while many in the west prefer the convenience of luxury hair extensions provided by specialists such as Tatiana at http://www.hairextension-pro.info/ , in Panama, it tends to be the real thing.
The really distinctive fashion look in Panama is, however, provided by the traditional styles of dress. For men, this means cool, white, natural cotton shirts and trousers topped, of course, by the famous Panama straw hat. For women, the traditional dress is known as the Pollera. This consists of a ruffled, off-the-shoulder blouse, usually of fine white linen cambric worn over a full length skirt fastened on the waistline with a long fan or peacock tail. The best Polleras, often featuring elaborate flower or bird designs, can cost thousands of dollars to buy. Accessories may include rich jewelry, such as crosses or pearl strings with long hair customarily secured by three large combs, again elaborately designed and often embellished with gold or pearls.
This national dress is much in evidence at the traditional Panamanian Christmas parades, El Dasfile de Navida, which invariably feature local music, dancing and seasonal food.
In fashion, as in so much else, Panama is an invigorating mix of old and new, traditional and practically modern. It’s a dynamic tension which seems almost to symbolise and underscore the spirit of this exciting rising star of Central America.
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